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Medical marijuana includes cookies, brownies, oils and tea rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that limiting medical consumption to dried marijuana infringes on liberty protections under the Charter of Rights.

OTTAWA—The Supreme Court of Canada says medical marijuana can include products other than dried pot, such as cannabis-infused cookies brownies, oils and tea.

The court has rejected an appeal by the federal government of a lower court ruling that medical marijuana users have a right to a range of products containing the drug.

In a 7-0 decision, the court ruled that limiting medical consumption to dried marijuana infringes on liberty protections under the Charter of Rights.

Current federal regulations stipulate that authorized users of physician-prescribed cannabis can only consume dried marijuana.

The case stems from the arrest in 2009 of Owen Smith, former head baker for the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada, who was charged after police found more than 200 pot cookies and cannabis-infused olive oil and grapeseed oil in his Victoria apartment.

Smith was acquitted at trial and later won an appeal.

Article source Toronto Star

health minister outraged

Ambrose ‘outraged’ by SCC’s marijuana ruling

Angela Mulholland, Staff writer

Health Minister Rona Ambrose says she is “outraged” by the Supreme Court of Canada decision that expands the definition of medical marijuana beyond dried leaves, to include cannabis oils, teas, brownies and other forms of the drug.

In a unanimous decision Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that users should not be restricted to only using the dried form of the drug. They said the current rules prevent people with a legitimate need for medical marijuana from choosing a method of ingestion that avoids the potential harms of smoking it.

But Ambrose says, despite recent court rulings in favour of the use of marijuana, her government maintains that cannabis has never been proven safe and effective as a medicine.

“Marijuana has never gone through the regulatory approval process at Health Canada, which requires rigorous safety reviews and clinical trials with scientific evidence,” she told reporters in Ottawa.

“So frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court.”

She said Thursday’s decision, as well as prior court rulings that permit the use of medical marijuana, give Canadians the impression that the drug has been shown to be effective, when it has not.

“We have this message that normalizes a drug where there is no clear clinical evidence that it is, quote-unquote, a medicine,” she said, adding that never in Canada’s history has a drug become a medicine “because judges deemed it so.”

Currently, doctor-prescribed marijuana can only be offered in dried form; any other form could lead to charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Medical marijuana advocates argued that for many patients, including the elderly, digesting the cannabis extracts was the only reasonable method of ingestion.

The Supreme Court agreed that it was unreasonable to require users to smoke dried marijuana.

“Inhaling marihuana can present health risks and is less effective for some conditions than administration of cannabis derivatives,” the court said in its judgment.

The case began in 2009, with the arrest of Owen Smith, the former head baker for the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking, after police found large amounts of cannabis-infused olive oil and cookies in his apartment.

Smith challenged those laws, arguing that medical marijuana users should have the right to consume marijuana in other ways than smoking. The court agreed and Smith was acquitted at trial.

Last summer, the B.C. Appeal Court upheld that decision, and gave the federal government a year to change the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations to remove the word “dried” from its definition of marijuana.

The federal government, which does not endorse the use of marijuana, decided to challenge the decision in Canada’s top court, where it contended there was not enough scientific evidence on the efficacy of “derivative cannabis products” such as baked goods, and argued that the Charter does not give medical marijuana users the right to obtain or produce drugs based on their subjective beliefs.

The Supreme Court disagreed.

“The evidence amply supports the trial judge’s conclusions on the benefits of alternative forms of marihuana treatment,” it said.

“…There are cases where alternative forms of cannabis will be ‘reasonably required’ for the treatment of serious illnesses. In our view, in those circumstances, the criminalization of access to the treatment in question infringes liberty and security of the person.”

Terry Roycroft of Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre says the court decision is a significant one for medical marijuana users who didn’t like smoking the drug. He says, when marijuana is smoked, its effects last a couple of hours, but when ingested the effects can persist for six to eight hours.

cannabis victory

“There’s much more medicine going in the body and you get much better results when you use an edible than when you use smoking,” he told CTV News Channel.

The decision is also significant for doctors who worried about how to prescribe smoking marijuana, Roycroft added.

“When we start creating edibles, there is the possibility and there is the mechanism to standardize the dose, which is exactly what physicians want,” he said.

Under the changed definition, marijuana can also be offered in the form of capsules, tinctures and ointments.

“The Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, one of their biggest concerns is the lack of standardization. So this … will allow them to be more accepting of this,” he said.

Smith’s lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, says while he is gratified by the ruling, he notes that Canada has failed to create a working system to allow patients to access medical cannabis and protect licensed growers.

“The government really has to go back to the drawing board here, start listening to patients and the people who understand the difficulties that patients are dealing with every day, and come up with a system that really protects those patients from the imposition of the criminal law,” he told CTV News Channel from Vancouver.

Article source CTV News

Owen Smith CTV on The Supreme Court of Canada Marijuana Ruling

TV News Channel: ‘A fight against families’ Plantiff Owen Smith discusses the ruling and says that the SCOC ruling will benefit those who are not responding to conventional medication. The case began in 2009, with the arrest of Owen Smith, the former head baker for the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking, after police found large amounts of cannabis-infused olive oil and cookies in his apartment.

Smith challenged those laws, arguing that medical marijuana users should have the right to consume marijuana in other ways than smoking. The court agreed and Smith was acquitted at trial. Last summer, the B.C. Appeal Court upheld that decision, and gave the federal government a year to change the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations to remove the word “dried” from its definition of marijuana.

The federal government, which does not endorse the use of marijuana, decided to challenge the decision in Canada’s top court, where it contended there was not enough scientific evidence on the efficacy of “derivative cannabis products” such as baked goods, and argued that the Charter does not give medical marijuana users the right to obtain or produce drugs based on their subjective beliefs. The Supreme Court disagreed. http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=633688

Post source Pot TV

Medical marijuana legal in all forms, Supreme Court rules

Health minister ‘outraged’ by ruling, vows to combat ‘normalization’ of pot

By Trinh Theresa Do, CBC News

Pot-infused brownies are divided and packaged at The Growing Kitchen, in Boulder, Colo. in September 2014. The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday said medical marijuana can include products other than dried pot, such as cannabis-infused cookies brownies, oils and tea. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)
Pot-infused brownies are divided and packaged at The Growing Kitchen, in Boulder, Colo. in September 2014. The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday said medical marijuana can include products other than dried pot, such as cannabis-infused cookies brownies, oils and tea. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

Medical marijuana patients will now be able to consume marijuana — and not just smoke it — as well as use other extracts and derivatives, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today.

The unanimous ruling against the federal government expands the definition of medical marijuana beyond the “dried” form.

The country’s highest court found the current restriction to dried marijuana violates the right to liberty and security “in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Restricting medical access to marijuana to a dried form has now been declared “null and void” — Sections 4 and 5 of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, which prohibits possession and trafficking of non-dried forms of cannabis, will no longer be in effect.

The respondent in this case, Owen Smith, called it “a very emotional day.”

“I’m proud and really happy today for all those people who are going to benefit from this ruling,” he said at a press conference in Victoria, B.C.

The decision upholds earlier rulings by lower courts in British Columbia that said they went against a person’s right to consume medical marijuana in the form they choose.

Many users felt smoking it was even potentially harmful. However, methods such as brewing marijuana leaves in tea or baking cannabis into brownies left patients vulnerable to being charged with possession and trafficking under the law.

According to evidence submitted to the trial judge, it came down to forcing a person to choose between a legal but inadequate treatment, and an illegal but more effective choice.

Federal health minister ‘outraged’

“It’s a positive — it’s a great thing for patients … and people who need extracts who can’t smoke their cannabis or don’t even want to in the first place,” said David-George Oldham, founder of The ARC, a consortium of cannabis patients, doctors, activists and chemists.

“Imagine smoking seven grams of cannabis when you’re having a migraine so bad that just moving your fingers is excruciating pain,” he said during a scrum outside the Supreme Court.

“Taking a [cannabis] pill is a lot more sensible and having pills stocked in my cupboard makes a lot more sense than having just raw cannabis out and about in my house.”

The federal government, however, isn’t pleased.

“Frankly, I’m outraged by the Supreme Court,” said Health Minister Rona Ambrose.

“Let’s remember, there’s only one authority in Canada that has the authority and the expertise to make a drug into a medicine and that’s Health Canada,” she said during a press conference.

“Marijuana has never gone through the regulatory approval process at Health Canada, which of course, requires a rigorous safety review and clinical trials with scientific evidence.”

Arrest of pot baker sparked court challenge

The case stems from Smith’s 2009 arrest in Victoria.

Smith, a baker for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, was found with more than 200 cookies and 26 jars of liquids, including cannabis-infused massage oils and lip balms. The baker was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Marijuana ruling - Owen Smith pot cookie baker

Owen Smith was caught baking more than 200 pot cookies for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club in 2009. (CHEK)

The club delivers medical marijuana products to its members, but doesn’t have a licence to produce it.

At his trial, Smith argued that the law under which he was charged was unconstitutional and violated Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

The British Columbia trial judge agreed and acquitted him. A B.C. Appeal Court also ruled in Smith’s favour, under the principle that no one can be convicted of an offence under an unconstitutional law.

The federal government then appealed that decision to take his case to Canada’s top court. Thursday’s decision affirms Smith’s acquittal.

The Appeal Court had also suspended its declaration for a year to give Parliament time to rewrite the law. The Supreme Court has now deleted that suspension, saying otherwise it would “leave patients without lawful medical treatment and the law and law enforcement in limbo.”

Ambrose said the federal government will fight against the court’s “normalization” of marijuana.

“We will continue to combat it. We will continue our anti-drug strategy, we will target youth with the message that marijuana pot is bad for them,” the minister said. “We’ll continue to work with medical authorities across the country to make sure they’re involved in the message.”

Article source CBC News

Lawyer Kirk Tousaw calls Health Minister Rona Ambrose utterly ignorant about medical cannabis

Health Minister Rona Ambrose has criticized a ruling endorsed by several judges appointed by her boss.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose has criticized a ruling endorsed by several judges appointed by her boss.

It’s been a busy day for B.C. lawyer Kirk Tousaw.

Supreme Court’s medical marijuana ruling ticks another item off the progressive agenda

BRIAN LILLEY REBEL CO-FOUNDER

All hail our robed masters of the Supreme Court!

They’ve ruled that medical marijuana needs to made available in more forms.

Would they do this with any other drug? Would the Supreme Court order the distribution of liquid Viagra?

No, but pot is a progressive agenda item and our all-powerful robed masters in the Court are progressives, too.

Even if you support legalization or decriminalization, you should be worried that the highest court in the land gets to decide drug policy in this country. That’s not how our system is supposed to work.

Video source Rebel Media

Question of the Day: Should Canada’s highest court expand the legal definition of medicinal needs?

Canada’s highest court redefines medical marijuana. A unanimous ruling today now allows patients to use the drug in all forms including brownies, teas and oils. So we hit the streets to see what you think of the legal expansion of medicinal weed.

Video source Rebel Media

Supreme Court Judgments

SCC Case Information: 36059 R. v. Smith Reasons for Judgment: LEXUM

Judges

Excerpt: It is therefore difficult to understand why allowing patients to transform dried marihuana into baking oil would put them at greater risk than permitting them to smoke or vaporize dried marihuana.  Moreover, the Crown provided no evidence to suggest that it would. In fact, as noted above, some of the materials filed by the Crown mention oral ingestion of cannabis as a viable alternative to smoking marihuana.

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